G. won the debate about whether Gulf Estates, the housing development in Ocean Springs, MS where my mom and step-dad live, is 22 or 26 feet above sea level. The storm surge in that area came in right at 22 feet. It gutted the lower lying houses where the access road tied in with the main highway, but up the rise where my relatives live, the water came into the yard, right UP to the house, but not inside. The wind is blowing the water away from the house.
Mom and G. drove over to the beach side of Ocean Springs where B. and M. live. They were especially worried about M. as she just had a kidney transplant this summer. B. usually flies organs around where they are needed in a helicopter. I imagine if his bird had survived, he'd be out now hitting roof tops, etc. But most gulf-based facilities are no longer there.
A tree dropped over the road a block from Uncle Frank's abandoned house (he died last year), so Mom walked around it and down the street, around the corner and got to B. and M.'s somewhat lower house. They are a block from the beach, and just up from the marina around behind the land spit. The new addition they'd just added to their house and an oak had a collision, but their main house was fine. B.'s cell phone is on a different company, so he could call out. My sister B. W. in Raleigh, NC, received this call. (I got Sunday's, my sister L. in Rochester, MN, got Monday's before the electricity went out, and so we guessed BW would get the next one...) She wants mom and G. to go to Raleigh at least until the electricity is back on in the area. An 83 year old man and 81 year old lady would not be very hard for a determined looter to overpower/injure. I'd rather see property damage than human damage if lawlessness reigns for long.
The oldest surviving member of Mom's family, DS, and his wife left their house mere blocks from the Biloxi beach and went to stay with one of their sons, MS, who works for a Biloxi TV station. When someone went back to check the house, it was okay this time (he had a tree on the roof last summer), but his oldest son, DMS and his wife P lost their house just around the corner, and their daughter Susan and her husband lost theirs.
Aunt C and Uncle C have a tree on the house they were trying to sell (just got an offer on it a week or so ago and had picked out a much smaller place they were planning to move to. Their son MF and DA, another cousin, were out of the area collecting MF's wife and furniture to move them down from TN to a trailer on a lot outside of Ocean Springs.... but the entire trailer has disappeared without a trace. I'm thinking this is GOOD TIMING, as two members of the family who probably WOULD NOT have left were out of harm's way, and lost no personal goods yet.
Aunt MA who went to stay with her neighbor and friend without having one of the children come in and board up her house got some bruising on her face from a car door (?), but her house stood. She's in Gulfport. She lost her husband a few years back -- his carpenter skills would have been useful about now.
An 85 year old friend of my mother's called me to offer my Mom and G. a safe refuge for the duration in their Alabama home, which is in an unaffected area. She wanted to know if there was anything she could do. I had quite a nice chat with her, which mainly ought to relieve her mind. She went to school with them in Ocean Springs way back when.